The question of how to dress for winter requires you to ignore what movies and television seem to convince us of every year: that Christmases are always white, that snow is always charming, and that the second February rolls around you can kiss your winter blues goodbye. If that were true, coming up with winter outfit ideas would be a snap, but instead those in temperate and arctic climes know they need to be prepped for blustery days, sleet and slush, and occasional subzero temps.
With all that in mind, trying to figure out how to dress for winter and still actually look cute probably sounds impossible, but don't worry: the easiest way to stay warm while looking cool is to think of the season as three temperature categories. If you know which one you're in for, your next step is to find a functional coat that matches your personal style. With the right coat, reverse-engineering your outfit is easy. Check out a few of our favorite winter outfit ideas below!
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Much like dressing for the crisp, cool days of fall, the key here is to layer your outfit. Dress so you can easily subtract or add pieces, as the temperature is likely to vary throughout the day. Pairing lightweight layers under versatile pieces such as a leather jacket or a classic trench coat are a great way to rock trendy looks that never go out of style. For extra warmth if it's especially chilly, try layering a chic fur vest under a leather jacket for a laid-back, cool girl vibe.
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'Tis the season to bundle up! When the dropping temperatures make you feel like you're trapped inside a snow globe, it can easily start to feel like you're getting lost underneath multiple layers of clothing. The trick here is to focus on the things that make you look and feel good. Quality materials such as leather, tweed, or velvet are ideal for keeping you warm and often come in flattering and tailored silhouettes that will also score you major points for taking winter style from blah to ooh-la-la!
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There's cold, and then there's feel-it-in-your-bones cold. When temperatures start dropping into single (or even negative) digits, it's hard to want to do anything other than snuggle up next to the fireplace. Thankfully, you have your pick of durable warm winter coats designed to help you withstand the harshest mercury plunges. Only downside? Parkas, down jackets, and similar coats naturally have a bulkier silhouette.
To avoid a frumpy appearance, we've got a few winter outfit ideas to help you stay sleek. Start with your choice of coat and—instead of donning thick layers—try wearing multiple light, form-fitting layers which help retain heat a lot better. Look for winter dresses cut to a midi length and made out of sweater materials or tunic-style turtlenecks for extra warmth and add fleece-lined leggings in lieu of tights for an excellent go-to outfit.